I do enjoy a fancy pants cocktail. Thinking myself the sophisticate I like quite strong concoctions; gin martinis and negronis are current favourites. My husband has taken it to a whole other level though and taken to drinking old fashioneds, sugar, bitters and American whiskey. A pre-christmas party decimated our alcohol supplies and since we are slowly recovering our drinks cabinet it seemed the perfect opportunity to introduce some bourbon and try and make our own.
As well as bourbon you need some bitters, Angostura being the classic, and sugar cubes.
Put a sugar cube in a glass and saturate with bitters. Then smush the sugar, using the wrong end of a porridge spurtle (though I suppose it’ll taste OK if you use some other implement).
Now comes the stirring. Add a shot (25ml) of bourbon and a handful of ice and stir with your spurtle (or inferior stirring device) while adding another shot and another load of ice. Then keep stirring for up to 8 (eight!) minutes although according to Hawksmoor two will do. The longer the stir the more the ice will melt and the smoother the drink will be, although too long and it will get too watery. Two minutes seemed to work quite nicely for us.
The garnish is the finishing touch. I got overexcited by this blood orange with an alluring lady on the front and went to town with orange slices and glace cherries although apparently this is a bit much. A strip of orange peel is all that’s required – twisted to release the oils in the skin. Et voila, a rather strong but rather delicious nightcap.
We had one of these at the fantastic Zetter Townhouse Bar made with rye whiskey rather than bourbon (which is made from corn). This had a bit more bite and should come with lemon rather than orange peel. Rye is slightly harder to get hold of and so now we’re on a quest to find some, obscure spirits being the only sort of spirits really worth owning.